Lexus Remains Committed To Low-Slung Bodystyles, Needs More EV Platforms
While many automakers are abandoning the sedan and coupe segments, Lexus’ future EV range will include cars of different bodystyles alongside traditional SUVs. Spiros Fotinos, Director of Lexus Europe and EV Planning, said they are not excluding anything from their future lineup when it comes to bodystyle types and different segments.
Lexus’ first EV was the electric variant of the UX, followed by the all-new and recently revealed RZ 450e which is based on Toyota’s e-TNGA platform. While both of them are SUVs, future Lexus EV offerings will not be limited to the most popular bodystyle.
Fotinos told Autocar that they acknowledge the global demand for SUVs, but won’t give up the traditional lower-slung cars: “We’re clearly working on alternative body types that would allow us to not only offer a wider range of vehicles but also meet the growth ambitions we have for Europe”. When asked about a possible successor to the discontinued CT compact hatchback which is heavily rumored to be a crossover, he added: “We’re not excluding anything. The segments in which we compete and the segments that are the volume-sellers in Europe are the segments we would be looking at primarily”.
Fotinos also referred to the diverse group of concept cars revealed in December 2021 as a preview of Lexus’ future EV range. Among them there was a low-slung family of sibling models including a four-door sedan, a five-door shooting brake, a five-door crossover, and a two-door convertible, sharing similar design traits. Additionally, there was a fully electric supercar dubbed to be a successor to the LFA, and a large SUV.
Speaking about the Toyota-sourced e-TNGA architecture which is set to underpin many of the aforementioned models, Fotinos referred to it as a great starting point, but he also revealed that Lexus is actively looking “at other opportunities”. He explained it would be “technically impossible” for the automaker to offer an EV in every segment they compete in using a single EV-dedicated platform.
It is true that despite the scalability of the e-TNGA, Lexus needs other architectures for high-performance models like a supercar, or larger premium offerings like its future flagship sedans and SUVs in order to compete with rivals like BMW and Mercedes-Benz. This could be achieved by future collaborations with other automakers, helping reduce development costs and remain competitive.
Lexus has pledged to become a BEV-only brand in Europe, North America, and China by 2030, and globally by 2035. Until then, we are going to see a few hybrid models which were also previewed on official teasers.